Set up to investigate the crimes of Argentina’s military dictatorship of the 1970s, the team has been identifying skeletal remains of “disappeared people”, often found in unmarked graves. Since then the group has travelled to many of the world’s conflict zones, helping to identify victims of massacres in more than 50 countries, from El Salvador, Guatemala and Colombia to former Yugoslavia, the Philippines and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In Argentina, EAAF has found the remains of 1,300 people and identified 650 of them. Many of those killed were the parents of children who were snatched by the military from regime critics during the Dirty War of 1976-1983. These so-called ‘stolen babies’ are now actively being tracked down by human rights organisation Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, with the support of genetic scientists such as Victor Penchaszadeh, a former professor of genetics and public health at Columbia University and a member of the Panel of Experts in Human Genetics of the World Health Organization.